Thoughts on Writing for GC

Ed. note: I think we have a new writer submission? Or perhaps just a warning to anyone "foolish enough" to consider the thought. I'm going to go ahead and leave my misspelled name in here because A) I'm used to it and B) I don't feel like wasting the time to edit it.

About two years ago, Caleb posted a request for writers on Going Concern, a call I was foolish enough to heed. I wasn’t concerned about my reputation—I mean, I worked at the always high quality GT at the time, and used a pseudonym that wasn’t ripped from a canceled TV show that was later revived on Netflix. So from a career standpoint, I was good. I just didn’t realize what I was getting myself into.

So for those of you who saw Adrianne’s post asking for new writers and thought “I’m bitter and punny. I’m basically the Warheads of puns. I can totally do this,” here’s a bit of what I learned the first time around. Let’s call it a courtesy heads up.

After a group was deemed worthy enough to have content released to the GC site readers, we were asked to write a post “relevant to the Going Concern community.” Which is about as clear as Adrianne’s current “whatever you want.” But, unlike the current request, we were warned that asking for clarification would be tantamount to asking a partner for help while he’s ogling the new interns.

Go ahead, look up the results. I’ll still be here (unless Adrianne takes this post offline). If you need feed for the troll bag, here’s my attempt. And if anyone was wondering (because you’re the kind of person who likes to know what “Cameraman C” ate on his lunch break on day 5 of filming), any parentheticals were recast as asterisked footnotes. Which is unfortunate, since I really like parentheticals (go ahead, tell me how terrible of a person that makes me).

We were eventually all deemed unhireable material. Our rejection came through a mass ‘it’s not you, it’s us’ e-mail, noting that we weren’t the right fit, and that we were all too beholden to our Public Accounting taskmasters to write for GC anyway.

I had breakfast with Caleb after my post aired, since we’re both Colorado high (not a marijuana reference. Seriously. Putting those two words together doesn’t magically make the 420 fairy appear). It was then that I decided I wanted to be just like him. Not the hipster glasses or the painful whiteness, since I already have the latter in spades, but the writing and teaching world he gets to live in. It was probably because I was frustrated with public accounting and dreamed up a fantasy of constant kittens and rainbows in the realm of writing. Whatever the case, it convinced me to start my own blog, which is still going today.

coke bottle glasses

 

I also still prefer the Coke Bottles to the Hipsters

(Since the community rules say we can’t promote our own services, I’m totally not going to encourage anyone to visit my blog at creativelyaccounting.com).

The thing is, Caleb was right, at least for me at that time. I wasn't ready to post insightfully bitter articles every day. Sure, being shackled to public accounting’s demands is a challenge (chains I’ve finally cast off), but that isn’t the hardest part. It’s coming up with content. I had all kinds of complaints floating around in my head, but once I started writing them down I realized it was like using a broken carpet cleaner to clean the pet stains from my 11 year old dog who decided she’s too good to take her dumps outside: I was going over the same crap again and again.

I believe I’ve gotten better at writing since then. I’ve finally learned that there’s a frickton (not a typo. Gotta set the example for my brood) of material to ridicule in the accounting news world. Not every post can be a ‘How to follow your dreams by torching Partner X’s house without getting caught.’ It’s the little stories that keep Going Concern ticking away, and how I can keep up my own less popular blog stocked. But transitioning from an article or two into a recurring series takes a totally different mindset.

And no, if any of you were wondering, I don’t keep writing on an obscure blog as a passive aggressive middle finger to Caleb and Adrianne. Come on, I’m not Ferruccio Lamborghini, though I appreciate the comparison.

broken bike

 

I also totally didn’t take a baseball bat to Caleb’s bike.

So if you’re trying to make it into Season Two of Freelance Roundup (clearly I’m not the guy who comes up with movie titles), that pent up rage might get you in the door, but keep in mind that you’ve got to keep producing content a year from now. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the same abyss that so many other GC featured writers have apparently fallen into.

And for those of you in public accounting, I’m guessing Caleb still has his really nice mass e-mail to let you down.

 

Bonus Content: It wasn’t until after we’d sent in our ‘test’ articles that we found out we’d be subjected to some sort of American Idol The Voice competition. So if you’re hoping to throw in your hat, don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly tossed into some weird writing version of American Gladiator.

Disclaimer to meet the community rules: I've never wanted to torch a partner’s house. I thought the partners in my office were nice people, and torching homes is just below releasing a horde of flesh eating birds on the douche scale. I am, however, on Twitter @TimJGordon. Which is totally related to what I just wrote. Because. . .birds, I guess.

Pictures by CJ Sorg and hildgrim.

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